Police find Missouri student Riley Strain's body in Tennessee river; no foul play suspected

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Riley Strain, a University of Missouri student who went missing in Tennessee's capital for nearly two weeks, has been found dead in a river, police announced Friday. No foul play is suspected, investigators said.

Metro Nashville police officials confirmed that Strain's body had been recovered from the Cumberland River about 8 miles (12.8 kilometers) west of downtown at around 7:30 a.m.

Police Chief John Drake told reporters that workers on the river initially found Strain's body and alerted authorities. Medical examiners later confirmed it was Strain, he said. Police department spokesperson Don Aaron said an autopsy will be conducted Saturday.

“We have reports that normally under these circumstances ... with his height and weight, he could have surfaced between 14 and 20 days,” Drake said. “This is the 14th day. So we were really expecting to find him.”

Police previously said Strain, 22, was last seen just before 10 p.m. on March 8 after drinking downtown. A massive search was quickly launched, with just small clues available to help investigators trying to find him, including finding his bank card along a riverbank and using surveillance footage to track his final moments.

University of Missouri officials said in a statement that Strain was traveling to Nashville to attend a private event.

Members of Strain’s family offered their thanks for everyone’s help and support during remarks to reporters Friday in Nashville.

“I just ask that you mommas out there, hug your babies tight tonight please,” his mother, Michelle Whiteid, said through tears. “Please, for me, just hug your babies tight tonight. And again, thank you. Thank you for sharing our story.”

Drake said that his “heart and prayers" were going to Strain's family “for this very unfortunate and tragic accident.”


Associated Press writer Jonathan Mattise contributed from Nashville.